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There are plenty of perks to being a former U.S. president. Think about it - the Secret Service detail, the lifetime pension and office. Getting out of jury duty isn't one of them it turns out. Former President Barack Obama has been summoned to serve in Cook County, Ill. where the Obamas have a home and where the former president is registered to vote. NPR's Maggie Penmen has more.
MAGGIE PENMAN, BYLINE: After eight years in the country's highest office, Obama is being called on to perform a different type of civic duty. Cook County's chief judge, Tim Evans.
TIM EVANS: We have a system in Cook County where one serves one time a year on the jury. And that time has arrived for President Barack Obama.
PENMAN: Evan said the former president will serve some time in November, and...
EVANS: ...He will receive the same salary as anybody else serving. And it's $17.20 (laughter).
PENMAN: That's $17.20 per day, a bit of a pay cut for the former president. But Judge Tim Evans says Obama is taking his civic duty in stride.
EVANS: We are happy that he recognizes his responsibility as a citizen to serve just as anybody else would.
PENMAN: Whether he will actually be selected to sit on the jury is another question.
AARON KATZ: The odds of any person getting on the jury are low, right? They're about 1 in 5 after you make it through the qualification process.
PENMAN: Aaron Katz is a trial lawyer who specializes in white-collar crime. He says lawyers on both sides might be reluctant to choose a juror as well known as Obama.
KATZ: Most jury consultants really recommend against sitting what's known as a high-impact juror, someone who in a deliberation room is going to have a really outsized voice and is going to be likely to persuade all or most of the other jurors.
PENMAN: But in rare cases, Katz says it can be helpful to have someone like that in the deliberation room.
KATZ: If I'm feeling either really good about my case or really, really bad about my case, I might actually want a high-impact juror like Obama on my jury because I know that I can tailor my arguments to that one juror hoping that he or she can carry the day.
PENMAN: Obama wouldn't be the first high-profile person to sit on a jury in Cook County. In 2004, Oprah Winfrey served as a juror in a murder trial. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have also been summoned in recent years, though neither made it through jury selection. Maggie Penmen, NPR News.
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